The Jesuit editor of the progressive America magazine has thrown his support behind the fabricated story of a war between Pope Francis and Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist.
On the far-left MSNBC cable television channel Sunday, Father James Martin said that Steve Bannon is a “radical traditionalist” opposing Pope Francis’s reforms and pining “for a time when the Church was purer.”
In a segment titled “Steve Bannon vs. the Pope,” Martin suggested that Bannon uses Church teaching to promote “racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic sentiments.”
Apparently, in Father Martin’s version of the gospel, it is wrong to oppose radical Islamists, but it is fine to bear false witness against a fellow Christian, running him down with baseless slanders and slurs.
Bannon is not only an anti-Pope Francis, Martin alleged, “I would also say he is an anti-Pope Benedict and an anti-Pope John Paul.”
“All these people were about economic justice,” Martin said, implying that Steve Bannon is not.
Father Martin also made the astonishing claim that Jesus Christ does not share Steve Bannon’s view of Catholicism as the “Church militant,” which he said is a synonym of “radical traditionalists.”
“I don’t think it was Jesus’ point of view either,” he said.
What Father Martin fails to mention is that his religious order—the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)—was approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III with the papal bull titled “To the Government of the Church Militant” and the Jesuits were commonly referred to as the pope’s “shock troops.”
Moreover, as literate Catholics know, the “Church militant” is a common expression employed by countless Catholic saints including Pope John Paul II to distinguish the members of the church on earth still doing battle with evil from those who have already died.
In his most famous text, The Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius Loyola—the founder of the Jesuits—wrote out a series of rules that should be followed “to foster the true attitude of mind we ought to have in the church militant.”
Pope Francis is, of course, a Jesuit as well.
As is their wont, MSNBC invited a panel composed solely of Democrats to eliminate any dissenting voices, and guests continually referred to Bannon as a “white supremacist” without ever being challenged concerning the veracity of their insults.
Remarkably, while also calling Bannon a “conspiracy theorist,” the panel wove its own unbelievable conspiracy theory that Bannon is trying to subvert the Catholic Church and the papacy itself.
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post uncritically mimicked the phony narrative concocted by the New York Times that Steve Bannon met with Cardinal Raymond Burke, “a real foe of the Pope,” and bonded with “this opponent of the Pope in 2014” as part of a strategic alliance to sow division in the Church.
In point of fact, when Bannon interviewed Cardinal Burke on camera in April of 2014, there had as yet been no hostility whatsoever between Burke and the Pope. In fact, Burke continued to occupy the post of Prefect of the Apostolic Segnatura, the Vatican’s supreme court.
“Steve Bannon is aligned with a radical sect of Catholics,” the MSNBC tag for the show reads.
Those members of the Church militant sure are a sneaky bunch.
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